Sunday, 29 June 2014

How to make red clover tea

Red clover flowers are fully mature now and we have just a few days left before the flowers will fade completely and the farmers will come along and turn all the meadows where the clover thrives into hay. The grasses have seeded and the dry weather has resulted in crops ripening somewhat faster than normal. Believe me, a long spell of dry weather is a bit like being a little bit pregnant-an oxymoron in wet and windy Britain- but when we do have warm, dry weather, even nature can be fooled to thinking this is the Mediterranean.

Red clover makes a delightful tea or infusion, if you prefer. The pale pink flowers (they're not really red at all) can be harvested now- always gather herbs, flowers and fruit on a dry day and preferably in the morning as the dew has evaporated and before it becomes too warm. Place the flowers in a warm and airy place to dry naturally- an airing cupboard is best. Lay the flowers on parchment paper in a single layer with plenty of room between each flower. After three or four weeks, the flowers will have dried sufficiently to be bottled or stored in an airtight jar.

To make the tea/infusion you can use either fresh or dried flowers. Place three or four flowers in a mug and cover with boiling water. Leave to steep for four or five minutes. The resulting brew is fortifying and with a perfume reminiscent of cucumbers- and equally as fresh-tasting.

Photo copyright SvD.

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